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Author Topic: General seeks advice on antenna/support  (Read 962 times)
N2XIO
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Posts: 4




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« on: January 18, 2008, 04:42:48 PM »

I would appreciate some advice on setting up my first real base station.  I have had my technician license since 1993 but got my general upgrade this past year.  I finally have the finances and property to put up a permanent antenna.  Looks like my radio room will be on the first floor in the S-E corner of the house.  I currently have an IC-7000 as my rig and want capability on 160-10m HF as well as repeater use on 6 and 2m and 440MHz.  Getting involved in ARES and will be using AirMail on HF and VHF.  My question is really geared towards advice on antenna choice and support structure.  Called my town zoning office and it appears that my restriction in height will be no more than 10’ above the tree line which would let me get to at least 100’ if need be although want to keep towards a low profile to keep good relations with the neighbors.  I am on 3 ½ acres at about 250 ft elevation.  In a relatively flat area but higher terrain not more than 20-30 miles around me.  Not really interested in messing with a rotor, would prefer something omnidirectional.  Not looking for a home brew as just don’t have the time.  As a Yankee not looking to waste money but able to pay for a quality product.  Don’t want to attach anything to my chimney.  Read reviews on Zerofive Multiband Vertical which seems to fit my bill for HF but not sure what to look at for VHF/UHF and how to mount.  Would love to limit the number of coax cables passing into the house.  Any thoughts?
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N2XIO
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2008, 04:59:10 PM »

Should add that I am in New England and we get our share of snow and periodic ice.  Winds generally don’t get much above 50 knots and usually much lower.
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N2IK
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Posts: 220




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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2008, 06:28:42 PM »

Take a look at the Hy-Gain HyTower. It is the cadillac of conventional vertical antennas. The latest and greatest is the SteppIr BigIr vertical with the 75/80 meter option.

In your situation I think I would still go for a tower and hang some antennas from it and put an HF beam on the tower with a christmas tree for 6M, 2M, 440 above the HF beam.

73 de Walt N2IK
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2008, 06:59:20 PM »

The Zero-five is both overpriced for what you get and over rated in performance. You will still need a good automatic antenna couple to use it multi-band. Said coupler and 40' of wire in a tree will do just as well.

The HiTower is good, as would be a Butternut HF9V, or the SteppIR, although it doesn't do 160m. With any vertical, the performance is determined, for the most part, by the quality of the radial field under the antenna. You can't just connect one to a ground rod and expect good performance.

You will need separate antennas for VHF/UHF and the are a multitude, depending upon whether you are limiting yourself to FM repeaters or want to do SSB, as well.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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K9KJM
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2008, 12:59:10 AM »

My favorite "best bang for the buck" antenna support structure, Or TOWER is a Rohn 25G. If money is tight, They can usually be found locally just by asking around or a wanted ad. Many were used in the 1970's for television antennas......   Now that most people are on cable or satellite, Most of those old towers are unused, And begging for a new use.
If you install such a tower, Do plan it out that you can always add to it's height......   Lay it out so you can add anchors out further in case you ever want to go higher.
A tip on coax feedline, For VHF/UHF Times LMR 400 is the one to get, For lengths up to 75 or so feet long.
For HF, Belden RG-213 is still the top coax to use.
IF you need to run longer than 75 or so feet for VHF/UHF, Search out some good used Heliax at swapfests, Or get some surplus Cable TV "hardline".
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W3LK
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2008, 06:54:20 AM »

Before buying used "25G" make sure that is what you are actually getting, especially if the used tower was for a TV antenna.

You need to read the following:

http://www.eham.net/forums/TowerTalk/12766

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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N2XIO
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2008, 07:47:25 AM »

Thanks Walt, Lon and K9KJM for your advice on products and Lon for your word of caution.  I found the webs sites and downloaded their catalogs and will sort through the info and forums/reviews on eHam.

73,
John, N2XIO
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W0RIC
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008, 01:37:30 PM »

Lon,

I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. Have you owned a Zero-Five? The Hy-tower is fair the butternut is a dummy load. As far as the StepIR, its so way overpriced that the psychology makes you think it’s the best. Remember the Edsel?

The 43' Zero-Five is a FIRST CALL antenna. I have worked over 3,000 stations and all but a few answered on the first call.

I am very pleased with the service, support and quality of Zero-Five antenna. I would buy stock in this company if (or when) they go public.

I would think, unless you’re a rep for the Hy-Tower or Butternut, you really don’t know much about the Zero-Five.

Buy one and find out!

73
Rick
WØRIC
www.w0ric.com



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N2XIO
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008, 02:26:55 PM »

Rick,

Thanks for weighing in.  The reviews on eHam sure seem to support your view of the 43' Zero-Five.  If nothing else it looks like there are a number of HF verticals out there that have strong supporters which is good news for the consumer.  Looks like I am loosing my potential radio room though, the hot tub stays.  Should not complain as I have plenty of room in my "shop" room in the basement.  There is a window that goes right out to my electrical service so will be a very short run to my electrical service ground rod!

73,
John, N2XIO
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2008, 03:31:30 PM »

Rick:

No I have not owned a Zero FIVE. It is a well constructed 42' piece of aluminum tubing and that is what you are paying for. There is NOTHING magic in that. It is overpriced for what it is.

Operated over the same radial field, it will perform like any other 42' piece of aluminum tubing - or even a 42' piece of copper wire suspended from a tall tree.

I have used, but not owned a SteppIR, but I think it, too  is overpriced.

As for the Butternut, mounted over the same radial field as a Zero FIVE, it will perform just as well and DOES NOT need an antenna coupler to be multi-band.

If you like the Zero FIVE, great, just don't try to make it out as some sort of miracle antenna that will outperform any other vertical on the market, because it isn't and it doesn't.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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W0RIC
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2008, 08:07:34 PM »

Hi Lon,

I had a 5BTV. I gave it away. Same spot as the Zero-Five and the Zero-Five is at least TWICE THE ANTENNA.

I bought the Zero-Five because all the stations on 40 meters that had the KILLER SIGNALS all had a Zero-Five.

I know it does not make sense to me either why it works so well but believe me, it really works way beyond all my expectations.

I have had high 40MPH plus winds, ice, blowing snow and very heavy rain. NOT 1 ISSUE! Pretty awesome!

You should not bash this antenna if you have never owned one. That's like saying a FT-1000-D is crap even though you never owned one.

Giving advise on something you know nothing about does not qualify you as an Elmer.

I think telling a new ham, "by W3LK on January 18, 2008 The Zero-five is both overpriced for what you get and over rated in performance. You will still need a good automatic antenna couple to use it multi-band. Said coupler and 40' of wire in a tree will do just as well" is pretty poor advise.


73 & Good DX
Rick
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NG0K
Member

Posts: 334




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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2008, 12:57:00 PM »

It's true.  Ground system and location being equal, a coupler at the base of a 40' piece of #12 wire hung from a tree will work just as good as the ZERO-FIVE. It's basic antenna theory.

   
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73, Doug - NG0K
W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2008, 04:50:10 PM »

<< I think telling a new ham, "by W3LK on January 18, 2008 The Zero-five is both overpriced for what you get and over rated in performance. You will still need a good automatic antenna couple to use it multi-band. Said coupler and 40' of wire in a tree will do just as well" is pretty poor advise.>>

No Rick, telling a new ham he has to spend spend $500 for an antenna he can essentially dupicate with $5 worth of wire is pretty poor advice.

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, CT
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